Court rules that requirement to disclose all convictions and cautions is disproportionate

The government has said it will appeal against a court ruling that the law which requires people to disclose all previous convictions to certain employers, regardless of their relevance to the job in question, is a breach of human rights and disproportionate.

The case involves a job applicant, who had to disclose police warnings he got at 11 over two stolen bicycles. His prospective employer requested an Enhanced Criminal Record Certificate (ECRC), because he might be required to work with children. Delivering the ruling, the Judge, Lord Dyson, said the disclosure of old convictions and cautions was designed to protect children and vulnerable adults. However, he said, “requiring the disclosure of all convictions and cautions relating to recordable offences is disproportionate to that legitimate aim”.

The Court made clear that it was only concerned with offences which are irrelevant to a person’s suitability for a certain job.


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